Australia blank India 5-0 in tri-nation hockey tourney
Burnbury (Australia): After dominating for most part of the game, Australia blanked India 5-0 in the second leg match of the tri-nation tournament here.
India though played good hockey, especially in the second half, the team`s forwards failed to move the board.
Kieran Govers set the pace for the hosts scoring in the 9th minute off Australia`s first penalty corner. He then went on to add another goal to his and team`s kitty by hitting the last of the four goals in the first half (32nd min).
In between Timothy Deavin (21st min) and Russel Ford (25th min) kept the scorer busy.
While Aran Zalewski, who is from Margret River area, a suburb of Burnbury, made his international debut memorable on his home turf as he scored the lone goal of the second half (57th min) for the hosts.
Indians were a bit rusty and slow to begin with, while the Aussies went into the business straight away.
However, the visitors fought back well in the second half when they not only defended well but also came close to scoring on a number of occasions.
Indian defence did well to withstand the continuous pressure from the faster and fitter Australian forwards in the second half.
Unfortunately, on couple of occasions, Indian forwards were not alert enough to score, leaving excellent chances go abegging.
Ten minutes after Sarwanjit Singh failed to connect a cross from Yuvraj Singh, he once again came close to scoring off his own solo in the 52nd minute. But his diving shot was hair`s breadth away from the right post.
Indians earned two penalty corners in the last 10 minutes of the second half.
Sandeep Singh, who returned to field after missing the Super Series Hockey 9s due to injury, took the first one, but his drag flick was stopped by the in-form athletic Tristan Clemons, the Aussie goalie.
Rupinder Singh, who substituted Sandeep three minutes later, executed the second penalty corner but his drag flick went wide.
"I am happy with the way we played today though I admit we should not have conceded easy goals in the first half. They played to a plan in the second half," said chief coach Michael Nobbs.
"The second half play told how much we have improved and this is exactly the position we seek to achieve," he added.
Meanwhile, Richard Charlesworth, his Australian counter-part, felt that the absence of Luke Doerner affected the penalty corner area.
"He was ill and we couldn`t play him," he said.
Speaking about the play in the second half, in which the Australians were subdued, Charlesworth complimented the Indian team but quickly added that he is trying a lot of things at the moment.
"I am giving chance to all the players at the moment and we are doing many things here. We lost some goal scoring opportunities," the coach said.
India will take on Pakistan tomorrow before moving to Perth to play its last match of the tour.